The death toll from this week’s flooding around Auckland has now risen to four, after the body of a man swept away by floodwaters in Onewhero on Friday found today.
Police said while formal identification is yet to be completed, it is believed to be the missing man.
He was found by a drone operator about 1km downstream from where he was last seen.
At a media conference this afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni said the death of four people was was ‘horrific’.
“I think it’s been a traumatic experience. … That’s the most horrific part of it that we’ve lost lives.
“Clearly alongside every Aucklander and New Zealander we share in our condolences and sadness with that person’s family.”
Meanwhile, the belt of rain which has brought flooding and slips across northern New Zealand is currently mainly centred over the Waikato and Waitomo District.
Authorities in the Coromandel say the peninsula is completely cut off after heavy rain has pummelled the region, causing flooding and slips.
Residents in already hard-hit areas like Auckland, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty are on watch for thunderstorms and more heavy rain.
MetService now says there could be heavy rain and thunderstorms as far south as the Marlborough Sounds and the Rai Valley as well as Tasman. It has put in place heavy rain warnings for Auckland, Waikato, Waitomo, Mount Taranaki, Marlborough Sounds and Tasman northwest of Motueka. Thunderstorm watches are also in place for Manawatu, Tararua and Kapiti-Horowhenua.
There were a number of road closures mainly in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.
A number of State Highways also remain closed due to widespread flooding and slips in the upper North Island.
State Highway 1 from Orewa to Warkworth will be closed northbound until midday today.
Waka Kotahi says people should expect delays at a number of spots.
The current Severe Weather Warnings have details on heavy rain today and Monday, but there is more on the way in the Severe Weather Outlook https://t.co/ePtVj8v6Kx
Northland will have another bout of heavy rain on Tuesday following the heavy rain from later today into tomorrow pic.twitter.com/id7roG1RUv
— MetService (@MetService) January 29, 2023
* Follow the latest updates here via RNZ *